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Railroad Safety is Important at All RailRoad Crossings

Updated on May 19, 2013

Train Safety, Autos, People

Trains are everywhere and are a part of everyday lives, and safety is important, and should not be taken lightly. Children need to be taught railroad safety--children should never be allowed to play on or around railroads tracks. Speak to your teacher and family about railroad safety. Railroad tracks should never be used as a shortcut or path, and only cross at designated crossings for vehicles and pedestrians. If you wear a headset remember to remove your headset when you are around trains. When you are wearing a headset, you can not hear a train approaching or its whistle.

Look, Listen, and live--look both ways for trains, before crossing the track, listen for trains, and live. It is illegal and dangerous to walk on or along railroad tracks. It is illegal to trespass on rail road property--railroad property is private, not public. Only authorized persons are allowed on railroad property-authorized by the railroad that owns the property. Vehicles crossing in front of moving trains cause the majority of deaths, as well as trespassing on rail road property. Trains always have the "right of way." They weight much more than a car. Always "yield the right of way" to the train, as the engineer can not yield to you. A train crushing a car is equivalent to a car crushing a pop can. Always obey signals and lights. Cross-bucks indicate the number of tracks there are if there are multiple tracks. Cross-bucks are also regulatory signs that mean "yield the right-of-way" to the train.Trains always has the right of way.

Important Tips About Train Safety

Vehicles that have manual transmissions should never shift gears while going across rail road tracks. There are crossings that are on a raised surfaces that are higher than the roadway, and shifting gears on the raised surface can cause the vehicle to stall on the tracks. Be sure to shift well ahead of time before or after crossing to avoid getting stuck on the tracks.

What to do if your vehicle stalls on the tracks, and a train is approaching: You need to get yourself and all of the other passengers out of the vehicle fast. Never try to take any items in the vehicle with you. It could the biggest mistake you could ever make, and it could cost you your life. There is one very important thing to always remember: when running away from the vehicle--run away from the tracks at an angle, in the direction of the approaching train. The reason for this is when the approaching train hits the vehicle, it will send metal and glass flying ahead of and outward from the locomotive. Running in the wrong direction could cause serious injuries and even death. Many people have been seriously injured and even killed, because they ran in the wrong direction.

What to do if your vehicle gets stalled on the tracks with no approaching train: get yourself and all other passengers out of the vehicle to a safe location. Then, call 911 or the police and tell them where the stalled vehicle is located. The police will contact the railroad. The railroad will do everything possible to stop any trains, before they reach the crossing.

Trains Close to Home

Train going through by my house on July 10, 2012.
Train going through by my house on July 10, 2012. | Source
A train sitting by my house in the winter time.
A train sitting by my house in the winter time. | Source

Railroad Bridges and Tunnels

Stay away from railroad bridges and tunnels, and use caution if you are ever walking on a railroad bridge or are in a tunnel. It is illegal to be on railroad bridges and in railroad tunnels. There are no sidewalks, walkways on railroad bridges. If a train is approaching you have to either jump or get hit by the train. Your legs could get trapped in the empty spaces between the ties. Maintenance walkways are not safe--they are not far enough from the tracks to keep you from getting stuck by the train. Railroad tunnels are a hazard in the same way that railroad bridges are. There is not enough room for a person to fit in a tunnel with a train. There are no walkways and not enough space for a person to fit safely, and you can not move fast enough to avoid getting hit by the train.

1950's Train Safety Film

More Safety Tips About Trains

Never race a train at a crossing--you might not make it and you will never get another chance. Never go between cars on a train while it is stopped. Don't go underneath trains while they are stopped--you don't know when the train is going to start moving, and you could be injured or killed. Don't drive around crossing gates that are down; its dangerous and illegal. It takes a train more than a mile to stop. Don't cross the tracks after a train has gone by, especially when there is more than one track. There could be another train approaching.

A Steam Locomotive

More Safety Tips on Trains

A locomotive and 100 cars together weigh approximately at 6,000 tons. The locomotive alone, weighs approximately 400,000 pounds, which is 200 tons in weight. The ratio of the weight of an automobile to a train is proportional to a soda can to an automobile. A train pulling 100 cars down the tracks takes more than a mile to come to a complete stop when the emergency brakes are applied. Trains do weigh and they do take a lot to stop in case of emergencies. Its always important to remember train safety. Remember to "Look, Listen, and Live" for oncoming trains at all railroad crossings everywhere. Railroad tracks that look rusted or have weeds that are growing between the ties may look like they are no longer in use, but they are more than likely still in use. Always remember that any rusted railroad tracks that may or may not be overgrown with weeds, is still in use and that trains still travel on them.

German Trains with Gates

Railroad Crossing Gates

There is one very important thing to remember if you ever get caught between the crossing gates when they go down, and there is a train coming: if there is no other way out then just go through the gates and clear the tracks. The gates will break easily.


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    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Thanks, I'm glad that you learned a lot from the article.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Thanks, truckdriversafety! Train safety is very important. I'm glad that you learned a lot from the article.

    • truckdriversafety profile image

      Clara Voz 4 years ago from Osaka, Japan

      Great Tips !! I have learned a lot from this article.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      It amazes me too that more people aren't hurt or killed. People don't think--they should. There are lots of stories on the Internet about accidents with people and trains. People take too many chances crossing the railroad tracks, and some aren't too lucky and end up getting killed. Thanks for commenting. Also, a train may appear farther away, but its closer than people realize.

    • BobMonger profile image

      BobMonger 5 years ago from Carlin, Nevada USA

      Our little town used to be the eastern terminus of the old Central Pacific railroad and, although the maintenance sheds and round house are gone, the marshaling yards are still here and in use every day. You'd think railroad safety would be ingrained in our population, but no. Frankly, it amazes me that more people aren't hurt or killed.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Thanks for your omment, BobMonger, and forwarding the hub to your friends. A lot of the time the train sits on the tracks and doesn't move for quite awhile. I've seen kids go underneath to get to the otherside. I saw one young man take his bicycle through between two cars. I would be scared to do that- the train could start moving at any time. It's not worth trying to beat the train-especially if they didn't make it.

    • BobMonger profile image

      BobMonger 5 years ago from Carlin, Nevada USA

      Great Hub, Gail. My house is just across the street from a crossing. Every day I see near misses as people try and "beat the train" as it comes through town. I'm forwarding your hub to all my friends who live across the tracks in the hopes they'll take heed.